Helping Your Elderly Loved One Connect on Social Media
Even without the looming COVID-19 pandemic, technological interactions are certainly the wave of the future. While face-to-face interactions may be the preferred mode of social interaction for most, sometimes, connecting through social media is the safest and easiest option for keeping in contact with our loved ones.
Facebook and Instagram
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have shown an increase in users from older generations. These websites make it easy for seniors to connect with their loved ones through messaging, photo-sharing, and even video calling. By setting up an account for your elderly loved one and walking them through the basic functions of the account and how it will help them interact with their friends and loved ones, you can eliminate some of the fear that comes with navigating the vast online web.
FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype
Apps and platforms that are solely used for text chatting and video calls may also be a good choice for your aging loved one. If they are apprehensive about all the bells and whistles that come with apps like FaceBook or Instagram, introducing them to apps like Zoom and Skype may be more digestible and easy to follow. If they own a smartphone, particularly an iPhone, then introducing them to the FaceTime option that is embedded into the phone itself is an even easier way to show them that they can chat face-to-face anytime.
Meeting New People
Social media isn’t just a way to stay connected with those you already know. Many platforms such as Facebook have groups that users can join based on certain hobbies or interests. By helping your aging loved one sign up for these groups, they have the opportunity to meet other individuals that share the same interests as them, and they could begin to expand their friend pool. It is extremely important, especially in these times of increasing isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for seniors to feel connected to their friends and family.
While social media may seem scary at first to some older adults, by walking them through the platform, you can help eliminate some of the fear that comes with the internet. Oftentimes, elderly individuals may begin to feel lonely, especially now, as they are separated from their friends and loved ones. This is especially true if they are in an assisted living home, where they feel surrounded by others yet still alone. By teaching your aging loved one how to navigate and work social media, you are ensuring that they can stay connected and, possibly, make some new friends along the way.